Which of the two parties will have the upper hand in this year’s midterm elections? According to a recent Gallup poll, neither. The survey, taken over a number of polls last year, has found that a record-high 42% of Americans identify as Independents.
And while the Independents are surging, the number of people identifying as Republicans took a dive to 25%, while Democrats held steady at 31%. This is the lowest percentage of Republican identification in the 25 years that Gallup has been conducting telephone interviews.
The drop in GOP and rise in Independent identification indicates that perhaps many of those who are leaving the Republican Party are not necessarily joining the Democrats, but instead leaving behind party politics altogether.
Why are people fleeing political parties? Gallup suggests it is low approval ratings for Congress, political parties, and a general lack of trust in the executive and judicial branches of government.
These findings pose a problem to Democrats and Republicans, as it increases the unpredictability of the midterm elections. So what has the GOP done to lose so many of its supporters and what should it do before November to gain more support?